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Western Union vs WorldRemit

We compare a tried-and-true company with a newer digital provider to help you learn who’s best for your next transfer overseas.

With both Western Union and WorldRemit offering cash transfers to many global destinations, picking between these two can be tricky. We’ve compared them on fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds to help make your decision a bit easier.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 29 January 2021.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 Same day HKD 0.00 0.128 USD
642
可匯款至全球超過200個國家. Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details
USD 1 Within an hour HKD 10.00 0.128 USD
638
使用優惠代碼FREE,你的首次匯款即可享免手續費。條款及條件適用。Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
提供現金提取、銀行戶口之間轉賬與及Airtime匯款選擇的網上匯款服務,。 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Western Union and WorldRemit: How they work

Western Union and WorldRemit both offer ways to transfer your money online.

Western Union

To use Western Union, go to its site, enter how much you’re transferring and to where, and see how much you’ll pay for the exchange. You also have the option of visiting an office, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer. Once complete, Western Union converts and delivers your money to a bank account or makes it available for cash pickup at locations worldwide.

WorldRemit

With WorldRemit, you go to its site, enter how much money you’ll be transferring and then send your funds to WorldRemit. When creating your transfer, you provide a mobile number for both yourself and your recipient, as well as a copy of your personal ID. Once approved, WorldRemit converts your currency and sends it to your recipient, who collects it via bank transfer, cash pickup or Mobile Money.

Read review: WorldRemit

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Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Western Union’s remittance fees depend on how much money you’re sending, and where you’re sending it. It uses a tiered fee structure, in which the cost of sending money will increase at round numbers as the amount you send increases.

When sending money from Hong Kong, fees start from $0 depends on the payment method. Some payment methods like bank transfer or Tap & Go are free. If you use credit card to pay for the transfer, the fee starts from 15.00 HKD and would be 30.00 HKD for larger transfers.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer fees will be different depending on where you’re sending money. For many destinations, the online transfer fees are fixed at 25.00 HKD. There is no fee free transfer.

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Winner: Western Union

In some cases, Western Union’s fees will be lower than WorldRemit’s, especially because there’s no fee for bank transfer.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Western Union’s exchange rates for HKD to USD are equivalent to about 0.40% above mid-market rates. This is essentially equivalent to an exchange rate “fee” of 0.40%.

As is typical for Western Union, and most other remittance companies, the exact exchange rates will fluctuate over time and will vary by currency.

We’ll use the example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1.00 HKD = 0.106433773 EUR
  • Western Union’s exchange rate might be 1.00 HKD = 0.1060 EUR

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s exchange rates are around 1% above the mid-market rates, but the rate varies for each currency.

We’ll use the example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 HKD = 0.106433773 EUR
  • WorldRemit’s exchange rate might be 1.00 HKD = 0.1042 EUR

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Winner: Western Union

Western Union wins, coming out with much more favourable exchange rates than WorldRemit will typically offer customers.

Which is faster?

Western Union

The speed of your transfer will depend on the delivery method. Some transfers might take a day or two, while the fastest transfers can arrive at their destination in just minutes, although sometimes these will cost more.

The slowest are typically bank transfers, which can take up to five business days.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer speeds also depend on your transfer method.

Cash pick-ups, mobile money and airtime top-ups (when you top up someone’s mobile phone airtime) can arrive instantly.

Bank transfers and cash home delivery are slower though. Home deliveries can take up to seven days depending on the location, while bank transfers can take several days depending on where the money is going and what day of the week it is.

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Winner: Draw

Both Western Union and WorldRemit offer similar transfer speeds and options.

In both cases, the faster choices can arrive in a few minutes, while the slower ones can take up to a week.

Which offers more options?

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
Western UnionBank transfer, credit card, Tap & Go Wallet, cashBank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transferMinimum: 1.00 HKD

Maximum: 392,000 HKD

Same day95+ currencies
WorldRemitCredit/Debit card , Apply PayBank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transfer, cash home delivery, airtime top-upMinimum: 0.10 HKD

Maximum: 40,000 HKD

Within an hour95+ currencies

Western Union

Western Union locations can be found all over the world, making it relatively easy to drop in and make a cash transfer. You can also send funds over the phone or at Western Union online.

You can track your remittance and receive confirmation that it has arrived at the other end via email or SMS.

WorldRemit

You’ll need to add a recipient phone number when making WorldRemit transfers. This is to ensure they’re automatically updated on the progress of their transfer.

Both senders and recipients will be notified when a transfer is sent and again when it’s received.

Bottom line

WorldRemit offers more flexibility in terms of transfer methods, but Western Union comes out on top when comparing nearly every other aspect of your money transfer. If low fees, competitive exchange rates and quick transfers are your top priorities, Western Union is the clear choice.

Of course, it can help to compare your options to find the service that best fits your individual needs.

Looking for more options?

Use our calculator below to compare the fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds of leading international money transfer providers. Just enter the details in the calculator to see what fees and exchange rates you would get.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 10 1 - 2 days HKD 140.00 0.128 USD
1,266
以透明的匯率,低收費及低最低金額的網上服務作匯款。 Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 10 1 - 2 days HKD 25.00 0.127 USD
1,268
新客戶可享有首三個月無限次免手續費匯款。New customers get 3 months of unlimited free transfers.
可用15+種貨幣匯款,享有超越銀行的匯率以及快速轉賬時間。 CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
SGD 1 1 day HKD 42.00 0.128 USD
1,279
你首兩次港幣$15,000或以下的匯款,手續費全免。Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to HK$15,000.
象徵式收費以及中間價匯率,可匯款至高達30多個國家。 SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
USD 50 1 day HKD 35.00 0.128 USD
1,280
獨家優惠:使用代碼FINDER10,你的頭一次匯款即能享有$10美元折扣。Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM 提供簡單的匯款服務,大部分的匯款劃一收取0.5%的手續費。InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
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USD 1 Within an hour HKD 20.00 0.128 USD
1,277
使用優惠代碼FREE,你的首次匯款即可享免手續費。條款及條件適用。Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
提供現金提取、銀行戶口之間轉賬與及Airtime匯款選擇的網上匯款服務,。 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days HKD 0.00 0.127 USD
1,265
可匯款至20+個國家,無手續費。 CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace. Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day HKD 0.00 0.127 USD
1,265
TorFX保證提供最佳的匯率。需受條款約束。TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate.
以30種貨幣匯款到全球。登記後,將會有一個客戶經理提供支持和引導。 TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Frequently asked questions

What is WorldRemit’s airtime top-up?

WorldRemit offers airtime top-up as an option when sending money to a variety of different countries. When you send via airtime top-up, you essentially give your recipient money toward a prepaid phone service or, in some cases, extra data allowances.

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